Update: Bell Helicopter cutting 290 jobs

Bell Helicopter Textron is cutting 290 jobs from its Fort Worth workforce.

The layoffs are effective immediately and include hourly, salaried and management employees. Also being cut are about 85 Bell contractors.

Company officials said the cuts are being made due to reductions in defense spending. Bell employs more than 7,000 workers in Tarrant County. The company, a division of Textron Inc., is currently refurbishing its east Fort Worth headquarters and plans to centralize most of its area workforce there.

Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, used the layoffs to voice his disapproval of sequestration in a statement issued by his office.

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“I am disappointed to learn of the layoffs of 290 workers at Bell Helicopter this week and my thoughts go out to all of the employees and their families who are affected by this decision,” he said, adding that “this is the latest example of why sequestration was such a bad idea when it was passed two years ago by Congress and why Congress should replace it immediately … “

Veasey noted that “budgets are real with significant impacts on our economy – not merely political vehicles to advance a narrow partisan agenda. I urge Members of Congress to take note of this as they return later this week to work towards avoiding a government shutdown at the end of this month.” –  Robert Francis